8-hour take-home examination at end of course.
No other writing required.
This is a course about legal regulation of the employment relationship and workplace conditions. It covers major legal issues about work except those that involve unions and thus are considered in labor law courses. (However, there is some discussion of unions, where collective bargaining intersects with employment law.)
The course covers legal issues faced both by by the core workforce and by especially vulnerable workers. The former category includes workers in stable jobs, middle- and high-wage workers, middle managers, executives, and professionals, with a special focus on legal professionals. The latter category includes low-wage workers, undocumented immigrants, domestic (household) workers, prison laborers, agricultural workers, welfare recipients, student workers, child laborers; victims of human trafficking; sex workers, and others.
Among the substantive issues to be considered are discrimination and harassment on grounds of race, gender, age, disability, and sexual orientation; regulation of wages; arbitrary firing; whistle-blowing; non-compete agreements; unemployment insurance; workers' compensation; employer-sponsored health insurance plans; retirement plans and social security; employee use of email and the internet; employee privacy; immigrant work visas and penalties; regulatory methods of job creation; and other topics.
The course asks whether employment law is systemically related to inequality in incomes and wealth, and to the current crisis in employment. The course considers transformations in workplace and corporate organization -- such as out-sourcing, temporary work, mass layoffs, and rapid reconfiguration of firms structures. It also considers the impact of the global economy on U.S. employment relations. The course examines not only substantive rules, but also enforcement institutions, including novel forms of public-private enforcement.